201705.16
1
1

Good Month For Industrial Production, But Serious Questions Remain

Industrial Production rose sharply in April 2017, up nearly 1% month-over-month (seasonally-adjusted). It was the largest single month increase since February 2014 during the depths of the Polar Vortex. Steady contributions from the oil sector as well as a rebound (of sorts) in Motor Vehicle Assemblies added to the gains. Year-over-year, IP was up just…

201705.15
4
2

Staying Stuck

The rebound in commodity prices is not difficult to understand, perhaps even sympathize with. With everything so depressed early last year, if it turned out to be no big deal in the end then there was a killing to be made. That’s what markets are supposed to do, entice those with liquidity to buy when…

201705.11
2
2

Hopefully Not Another Three Years

The stock market has its earnings season, the regular quarterly reports of all the companies that have publicly traded stocks. In economic accounts, there is something similar though it only happens once a year. It is benchmark revision season, and it has been brought to a few important accounts already. Given that this is a…

201704.18
1
3

Now You Tell Us

As we move further into 2017, economic statistics will be subject to their annual benchmark revisions. High frequency data such as any accounts published on or about a single month is estimated using incomplete data. It’s just the nature of the process. Over time, more comprehensive survey results as well as upgrades to statistical processes…

201701.06
6
0

Factories Or Money?

There are a few parts of the payroll reports that do make sense without requiring alternative interpretation. Among these face value statistics is the estimate for manufacturing payrolls. The BLS figures that employment in the manufacturing sector peaked in July 2015 and has been declining ever so gently since then. Total job losses are just…

201612.08
1
0

Chinese Trade Revisits

China’s trade statistics were improved in November, further fueling the global “reflation” dreams. Imports rose 6.7% year-over-year, the second increase in the past four months (August) and the best since September 2014. Exports were nearly flat, up the tiniest fraction, 0.1%. That was the second time this year exports were positive. Again, these numbers have…

201610.13
6
1

And, Predictably, Another Two Steps Back

If you are not an economist bound by dogma, or a member of the media forbidden from using opinion of all but the finest (sounding) credentials, there is no mystery. I am as tired of writing about it as you are of reading it. The mainstream is by convention of the business cycle forced into…

201609.27
5
0

The Effects Of Money On Trade

There can be little doubt now outside of orthodox economics that the global economy is actually slowing, not accelerating as has been predicted. Economists themselves, however, continue to claim that things are getting better when the data strongly suggests otherwise. The latest depressing figures are from a pair of (orthodox) supranational organizations. First, the World…

201608.31
2
0

From Euphoria To Despair And Getting Nowhere

For October 2014, the ISM estimated that its Chicago Business Barometer was a blistering 66.2. Encompassing much of the Midwest and a good deal of auto and parts production, that level seemed to make sense. As any economist would say then, the US economy was on the verge of a breakout and according to the…

201608.16
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US Industrial Production Without Autos & Oil

Industrial production declined for the eleventh consecutive month in July, down 0.5% from July 2015. Though the slope of the contraction continues to be unusually shallow, the fact that it has lasted for nearly a year now is significant particularly in the context of the “rising dollar” period. On a monthly basis, IP is up…